Spartans’ Success at Malin Races
City of Derry Spartans took honours in both the Malin Mile and 5km races today despite heavy rain and a windswept course. First to the Mile, where JP Williamson took pole position with a swift 4mins 45 secs clocking ahead of Darragh Crossan Derry City Track Club on 4 mins 53 secs closely followed by the battling Eoghan Furey on 5mins 6 secs taking a well-deserved third place and Eoghan can take some consolation from the fact that unfavourable conditions did have an adverse effect on times.
Next up for the Spartans was Dara Furey returning to action with a very good 5mins 44 secs, a credible run given his lack of speed work and race fitness and once again displaying his competitive instinct despite the stiff competition.
The undulating 5km was next and JP Williamson led from the front finishing in pole postion on 17mins 12 secs ahead of Inishowen AC’s Benny Wilson on 17 mins 53 secs with Darragh Crossan Derry City Track Club taking third position on 17mins 55secs. JP is to be commended for consecutive wins under such difficult conditions. Lastly, our dedicated duo of Peter Lilburn and Joe Mc Carthy won both their categories with the former winning the V60 category on 19mins 30 secs and the latter taking the V55 category on 19 mins 53 secs. Excellent runs by both athletes. A word of thanks to the organising committee at Malin consisting of Inishowen AC and Letterkenny AC for a well-organised race and first class reception afterwards.
Hannah McGowan came 1st in both the mile & 5k events. A notable enough achievement as she was only a second of the race record for the mile, considering the terrible weather conditions.
A big PB for Spartan Conor Doherty at Thursday’s track meet at the Mary Peters in Belfast running 4.14 in the 1500m. Well done to him!
Jp Williamson continued his good form with a sub 4 min run posting 3.58 while Shane McGowan followed up on his recent 1.56 800m run with a 4.11 clocking. Well done to the trio!
As the summer sun struggles to impose itself there is another mix of road, trail and track & field action on this weekend’s competitive agenda with Dublin, Belfast, Davagh Forest, Malin, Tullamore and Hexham venues likely to see local and North West athletes in action.
The annual Morton Games gets the action under way this evening–Friday–in Dublin with the second fastest man in the world Yohan Blake the star attraction in the Men’s Invitational 100m. The Morton Mile is another big attraction, worth recalling that Spatra star Bobby Farren won that one back in 1992, and Letterkenny man mark English is thought to be in the 800m field.
Tullamore hosts the National Masters T&F championships on Sunday with the usual significant local contingent travelling in search of medals. Athletes from Olympian, City of Derry Spartans and Derry City Track Club will make the trip with Martin O’Donnell, Mary Devlin, Frank Stewart, Jim and Paul Herron, Jackie McMonagle, and Dermot McElhinney among them.
Sunday also sees the Malin Festival of road races with the programme covering both the Mile and 5K distances. First race is at 11am and entries will be taken on the day.
Saturday ‘s action is at the Mary Peters track where round 3 of the NI Young Athletes League should see more competition for the Juvenile Spartans and at Davagh Forest where the latest in the O’Brien Challenge races takes place at 12 noon.
Finally the City of Derry Spartans all rounder Naomi Morgan will be representing NI at the Home Countries Combined Events championships on both weekend days in Hexham. A tough two days for the promising combined eventer who did well in Grangemouth a fortnight ago in the Scottish championships, when she picked up an U20 silver medal despite failing to finish her 1500m race due to a foot injury. An improved points total is the target for the Spartan.